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Traffic cameras installed on buses

Frederick County Public Schools have installed cameras on school buses to catch drivers speeding past them.

In the past year 11 buses have been equipped with the special cameras, and nine more of the $1,350 cameras are ready to be installed. Still, it's a small portion of the more than 400 buses used by the school system.

The two-camera system can capture a vehicle's front and back license plate, time, date, GPS position and speed. Drivers won't get ticketed if caught on camera, however, because a bill allowing the tickets was not approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

-- Associated Press

Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post

By Michael Bolden  | August 23, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Driving, Maryland  
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"Drivers won't get ticketed if caught on camera, however, because a bill allowing the tickets was not approved by the Maryland General Assembly."

I predict that the bills - and accompanying lobbying - will continue until the "officials" eventually get what they want.

When is enough finally enough?

Posted by: not2worry | August 23, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I guess "enough" is when those who break the law, especially around vulnerable school kids, stop doing it.

When did we turn into a nation where lawbreakers felt entitled to whine about being caught?

Posted by: krickey7 | August 23, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Will the bus drivers be ticketed automatically for speeding?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 23, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

First, camers (in the headline)?

Second, these are NOT speed cameras. They are cameras to catch people passing school buses that are stopped at a bus stop (with the warning lights activated). They have NOTHING to do with speed.

Try actually reading the article in the Frederick News-Post instead of relying on the AP to do your work.

Posted by: ceebee2 | August 23, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Here, I'll help:

Posted by: ceebee2 | August 23, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Why don't the school buses just drop the kids off on the side of the street they need to be on. This way they would not have to cross the street. I guess that solution is too simple for legislators.

Posted by: tounces | August 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It's about time! When will the rest of the DC area grab this and run with it? I'm tired of seeing people go pass school buses while in the process of picking up or dropping off children. Leave your house in plenty of time to get to your destination and you won't have to worry about the school bus making you late. NOT SPEED CAMERAS,BUT CAMERAS TO CATCH STUPID PEOPLE. YEAH for Frederick County!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pink1 | August 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

this is a new take on enforcement....but, whatever it takes to slow people down and have them understand that speeding can have disasterous consequences - especially when a bus packed with kids is involved.

Posted by: YumYum1 | August 23, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

This is an interesting idea. People drive crazy around school buses and schools in general. This is an interesting way to capture this info.

Posted by: VAgold | August 23, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

You mean people are still stupid and callous enough to pass a stopped school bus?

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 23, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I think people who pass school buses are jerks, but this brings to mind the slippery slope.

How are these cameras activated? Automatically or by the driver? and what if a driver forgets to turn off the camera when appropriate, or worse yet, activates it maliciously?

I know, driving is a "privilege" bestowed upon the barely deserving and there are those who believe anyone "selfish" enough to drive a car in a city, especially in DC, deserves whatever befalls them, but the powers that be are getting out of hand.

Over the weekend there was a Post news item about a man - a veteran, ex-MP, and father of a PG County law enforcement officer - who was pulled over, arrested, denied his medication, handcuffed to a hospital bed (after becoming ill as a result of being deprived of his medication), and held for 17 hours because he had the temerity to accelerate and pass a high-ranking DC police officer who was driving erraticallly and ILLEGALLY using a cell phone while driving.

I'm sure SOMEONE here will get on their high horse and say the guy had it coming for speeding, but this is ridicuous. Frankly, I hope the man sues the beejeezuz out of DC and wins.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 23, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It's a little far afield, but I'll respond by noting that the disabled man was caught doing 110 in a 50 mile-an-hour zone.

There's no indication that he was singled out for any reason other than his reckless driving, and his illness was a major factor in delaying his release (after all, releasing a man who had just passed out might be considered a little reckless in itself).

Posted by: krickey7 | August 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

As for a slippery slope, I'd be more concerned about a society that excused all manner of lawbreaking because we didn't like the fact that technology makes catching perps too easy.

Posted by: krickey7 | August 23, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is wrong with passing a school bus? Don't we believe in Darwin any more?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

What a great idea.

Posted by: gordon514 | August 23, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"It's a little far afield, but I'll respond by noting that the disabled man was caught doing 110 in a 50 mile-an-hour zone."

Get a friend who drives to take you to the area on 295 where Mr. Pierre allegedly drove 110 mph.

Even you will quickly observe that the laws of physics make it is impossible to drive in that area at that speed unless you have a death wish. Even driving at 70 mph is taking a heck of a chance.

The cop who claims Mr. Pierre was driving "110 in a 50 mile-an-hour zone" is a liar who BTW was breaking the law himself by driving erratically and yapping on the phone without a hands-free device.

This is a clear case of abuse of power by a cop who after being called out for breaking the law abused his power to "teach this guy a lesson". Considering how you are ALWAYS sooooo concerned about "lawbreakers", your attitude on this is puzzling to say the very least.

What that power-tripping cop did to Mr. Pierre is going to cost him AND your city. I hope you're happy with that.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 23, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"Considering how you are ALWAYS sooooo concerned about "lawbreakers", your attitude on this is puzzling to say the very least"

Then again, considering your contempt for drivers - especially those from the suburbs, I shouldn't be surprised. They are the only "lawbreakers" that concern you. Everyone else gets a pass. Especially a cop "disciplining" a driver from the suburbs who "breaks the law".

You sir, are a hypocrite.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 23, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The law that they were trying to pass this year (which WILL come back next year rest assured) did NOT make it illegal to pass school buses... that was already the case, or allow cameras on buses... as you read they are doing that now. The purpose of the law was to LOWER THE BURDEN OF PROOF against drivers to the lowest level of any type of offense to make handing out large numbers of tickets profitable. The law as it was submitted last year:
* Permits evidence to be admitted "without authentication"
* Citations are the responsibility of the vehicle owner even if they were not driving
* Does not state that the camera operator (or bus driver) needs to appear at court hearings, and does not state that the accused even has the right to request the operator appear
* Explicitly lowers the burden of proof for the state to the lowest level possible
* Does not bar the camera vendor or the bus driver (who provide the evidence for court cases) from receiving a portion of ticket fees (and an incentive to create "false violations")
* Does not contain any "public notification" requirement (such as the use of signs) to inform people in the area that they are subject to being photographed
* Does not explicitly state that the camera images need to prove a violation took place (for example, that the flashers were in fact on and that vehicle was not already passing before the lights went on, or that the bus was still moving), only that they need to show the vehicle's license plate number.

None of the above would be permissible for a charge against some career violent criminal, who need to be proven guilty 'beyond reasonable doubt'. DRIVERS are special in having reduced legal rights.

I will further add that the law forbidding passing school buses also bans stopping within 20 feed , from ether direction, of a stopped school bus. Do YOU know how far 20 feet while sitting inside your car? The other thing to consider is that it is possible for a bus to put out its stop sign *without coming to a full stop* and *without turning its yellow lights on first* giving a driver *no warning* and making *accidental* violations possible.
If legislation is eventually passed to turn these into ticket cameras they WILL look for some sort of 'secondary' or 'accidental' -- whatever they TELL you now -- because companies who make their money from a cut of the tickets need to issue a certain number of tickets to turn a profit.

The reality is that more people are killed in the US riding in passenger cars that are hit by school buses than children are killed being hit by cars while boarding school buses. Turning these into ticket cameras would do NOTHING to improve safety, but it would do a LOT to reduce YOUR legal rights.

Posted by: afpre42 | August 24, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

If children are killed being hit by cars while boarding school buses, they're boarding wrong.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 24, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

This seems like such a great idea. We can't have people recklessly speeding, especially around our children. I just hope the MD general assembly gains enough common sense to pass a bill to allow tickets from this so people are deterred from doing it again.

Posted by: ChicaInTheDMV | August 25, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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